Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plastax Works in DC

We've heard about taxes on plastic bags working in other countries, such as Ireland. The idea of a plastax, or tax on plastic (generally bags) results in much less use of plastic. People are more inclined to bring resuable bags to shop than pay a tax. And the money collected from this tax goes to environmental causes. But can it work here?

Washington DC's 5 cent tax on plastic bags, instituted just this past January, has already proven to have a phenomenal impact: the number of plastic bags handed out by supermarkets and other establishments dropped from the 2009 monthly average of 22.5 million to just 3 million in January. While significantly reducing plastic waste, the tax simultaneously generated $150,000 in revenue, which will be used to clean up the Anacostia River. Read more about this in Treehugger.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We're Recruiting!

The Environmental Committee is Looking for New Members.

The Environmental Committee works on a broad range of issues related to food, energy and the environment, with an emphasis on issues that impact the Coop.

We particularly need people who are good at putting ideas into action. We will accept people with a broad range of experience, but leadership and/or organizational abilities will be put to good use.

To be considered for a spot on the committee you must have been a Coop member for at least 6 months and have a good attendance record.

Work for the environmental while fulfilling your Coop workslot!

For more information, contact the Environmental Committee at ecokvetch@yahoo.com

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Conservation/Climate Change Lecture

Conservation & Animal Protection Activist Anthony Marr
will talk about: Climate Change

Global Heating: Climate Tipping Points. Feedback Loops, and Species Extinction
Due to: the The Canadian Seal Hunt -
The Alberta Tar Sands: The Most Environmentally Destructive Project on Earth - The Global Anti-Hunting Coalition

Wednesday, August 25th , 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
The Front Lounge at the Community Church
28 East 35th Street, Manhattan
(Between Park and Madison)
$5 Donation Suggested

Anthony Marr holds a science degree from the UBC and has worked as a field geophysicist and an environmental technologist. In 1995, he became a full time wildlife preservationist, which has brought him to India three times, earning him the title of the "Champion of the Bengal Tiger" in the Champions of the Wild TV series aired in 20 countries. As an anti-hunting activist, he has conducted high profile campaigns in Canada for the bears and seals, and been to Japan twice for the whales and dolphins. He is the founder of Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE) and is currently on his fourth Compassion for Animals Road Expedition (CARE-4), covering 40 states. He is also the author of Omni-Science.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hydrofracking Town Hall Meeting

Dear New Yorker,

Please join us at a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 5-8pm
at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) located at 199 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan to discuss natural gas drilling in New York State.

At this public meeting, residents will have the opportunity to comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) official study examining the potential health and environmental impacts of hydraulic drilling.

The NYC Council has been working on this issue for quite some time now, and we remain seriously concerned about this type of gas extraction. Natural gas drilling in New York State could contaminate the drinking water of more than 12 million NYC-area residents.

It's important that we hear from you and other New Yorkers about this critical issue.

While the EPA is holding hearings elsewhere in the State, none have been proposed for New York City. This town hall will provide you an important opportunity to raise your questions and concerns about natural gas drilling and its potential impact on the region's water supply.

We look forward to seeing you at the town hall on August 24th. Please RSVP at (212) 788-6871or events@council.nyc.gov by Friday, August 20th.

Sincerely,
Christine C. Quinn
Speaker, New York City Council

James F. Gennaro
Chair, Environmental Protection Committee, New York City Council

Directions:
A, C, E to Chambers St.; walk 3 blocks west on Chambers St.
1, 2, or 3 to Chambers St.; walk 2 blocks west on Chambers St.
R to City Hall (local); walk 6 blocks west on Chambers St.

For additional subway directions, go to Hopstop

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No GMO Beets, For Now

See an interactive version of this map at Center for PostNatural History.

On Friday August 13, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White revoked a five-year-old approval of genetically altered sugar beets from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Judge White cited the USDA's insufficient testing of weedkiller-tolerant sugar beets and their possible effects to the environment. Not to mention the possible effects of these pesticides on human health, via people eating pesticide-saturated crops.

Genetically modified plants are immune to glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup, which means farmers can use inordinate amounts of pesticide to kill everything else in site, except the beets. These pesticides linger in our groundwater and migrate to other areas, long after the beets are harvested. They pose a health danger to the farmer and others in the area, as well as animals, both wild and domestic, plantlife, birds and bees.

Genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets are already planted on more than one million acres of farmland, spanning 10 different states from Michigan to Oregon. In fact, the Roundup-resistant gene is present in 95-percent of U.S.-grown sugar beet plants. Read more about this at Treehugger.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eureka!

With a name like Eureka, this town has a lot to live up to. Indeed, Eureka would like to be a zero-waste city by 2020.
In the meantime, they've got some inovative ideas about reducing waste.

Composting is catching on nationwide as more cities provide services to residents for collecting food, landscape clippings and other compostable separate from recylables and landfill waste. But to test out if the St. Paul, Minn.'s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood is ready for such a program, Sonya Ewert is hopping on a 27-gear bike with a custom-made trailer and going door to door to collect compostables from residents. The bike-powered composting service is part of an experiment -- if enough residents like having their food waste collected, the city may move forward in providing the service on a large scale through their waste and recycling collection services. Read the rest of the article at Treehugger.

Could this work in Brooklyn?

Photo courtesy of Star Tribune.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Million Pound Battery Challenge

In an effort to raise awareness the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation is challenging Americans to clean out junk drawers and recycle one million pounds of rechargeable batteries by October 1.

Rechargeable batteries, such as those used in cell phones and cordless drills are prohibited from household trash in NYC and must be recycled. NYC stores must recycle the same type of rechargeable batteries that they sell. Cell phones and their batteries can be returned to any store that sells these devices. Click here to find a retail collection box near you or visit one of these select Greenmarkets. Visit www.rbrc.org to get a free bin for your apartment building.

Note: this program does not include regular alkaline batteries, which can be dropped off at the NYC Department of Sanitation's Special Waste Drop-Off Sites as well as local stores listed in our NYC Recycling Resources handout.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Great New Recycling Poster

The latest in GrowNYC's Recycling Poster Series:

This month's poster provides tips to reduce unwanted mail. Simply download, print and post in your apartment building, school or office.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Free Film Screening: CRUDE

Thursday, August 5, 2010 8:00 PM
Screening at Sunset (approx. 8:30 PM)

103rd St. Community Garden
(105 E. 103rd St. between Park & Lexington, NY, NY 10029)

Crude, directed by Joe Berlinger
It’s déjà vu all over again! Instead of British Petroleum, its Chevron; and instead of our Gulf Coast, it’s the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador , South America . The film follows the crusade of an Ecuadorian lawsuit against Chevron for 2 of its 14 years! We see the tragic pollution of a once pristine rainforest and the devastation of the people who inhabit it. See more info and trailer.

Directions:
Take #6 Train to 103rd St.;
M 110 or M96 to Park Ave.; then walk

Monday, August 02, 2010

Hydrofracking Video

Do you have 3 minutes? Take a look at this well-done short video about hydrofracking.

See our hydrofracking handout and sign the petition requesting a statewide ban of hydrofracking.

...and please spread the word!!!